With in this last year, 3 other crazy fools and I decided it would be a smart idea to start a business. Although it scared me, more than the Blair Witch circa 1999, I decided to quit my hourly job and go for it. It was something that was inevitable because like many people say it is in my blood. From my ADD background I always led myself to believe that my blood contains 100% Red Bull.
This has been my first business. So no I’m not a business startup expert (that’s directed to you twitter business snobs. You know who you are). But I have had some good things happen and some bad things. I researched the ish out of business startups and it only made me more of a mental patient on the topic. I scoured the Internet for advice, and with all the information I’ve come to find out that you can really never be too prepared for a startup. I just had to give it a shot, get out the building and start making things happen with mistakes and all.
For that reason this post is about why college years are a perfect time to start your own business. Since starting a business people always have asked, “dude how did you start it? I don’t know how to get it rolling.” I always tell them, “do it now! Just start dealing and doing!”
So here are my 5 reasons why college is the best time to start a business.
You learn awesome magician like management skills at a youthful age
Where else can you find customer relationships, branding, marketing, competitor analysis, financial analysis and managing expense skills all wrapped up into one? No where, that’s where! A startup forces you to learn these skills. Because if you don’t your business is a sinking ship and you’re going down with it captain.
Don’t wet yourself if your business fails. That’s what it is all about: starting, probably failing, and repeating. So even if your “insert-sweet-idea” business fails, every other company in the world values these skills.
The risk to reward ratio is highly in the rewards favor
I know multiple students and friends who have co-founded companies while they were studying at Universities and BAM, 5 years later, they have annual revenue of more than $100 million, millions of users, 800 employees, or even five offices across the country. What did they risk and put on the line for that success? Very little compared to a 40 year old dad of 3 wound up kids and a wife who controls his every move.
I promise when you are in your college years, you have nothing to lose because you have nothing. You can literally live off no money because you have no family to take care of, you haven’t entered a career, you are single or just barely married, and your only responsibilities are school and your 8-dollar-an-hour job at Wendy’s! Your risk to reward ratio is shooting out of the roof and it is begging you to take advantage of it.
When you make mistakes in the real world, it’s true, you lose real money. But if you have no money or job to lose then what are you risking? Being in college takes you away from the structured safe environment that most people have during the majority of their life. It is the time to take risks and fall flat on your face a few times.
As a student people will just straight up like you more
A lot of success in my business has come from the sheer fact that I am a student. I have yet to figure out why, but there is something in the phrase “I am going to blank blank university” that makes people listen and like you. They think you are this smart and amazing person for getting into school and actually staying there. Plain and simple society will just flat out like you more.
For example, when starting my business there were companies, management personnel, and successful businessmen that I identified as people in my particular space that I wanted to talk to. They were all very busy people but when I dropped the “I am going to blank blank university” line, they all treated me like a homeless dog and took me right in. It was some magical wonder.
Universities have secret resources for only students
Being a student really helped me in launching my business by having resources that I would not have access to outside of school. There are student deals you can get that the average person doesn’t have access to. Such as web hosting, PayPal credits, office rent, and access to research databases. Go ask around your university’s business school and you would be surprised at all the free crap they offer.
Plus you have the ability to mingle with other students and professors who have started a company or are currently starting one. It’s like a business brotherhood.
Students have way more free time during school than they think
Like I said above, starting a business while in college is less of a career risk since students don’t have a career. I always hear students complain, “uhhhh…I have so much to do and no time to do it”. Honestly if school takes 20 hours of your day, you need to pick up some Wyoming brochures and get the heck out! Students have so much time compared to people working a full time job. Sure maybe you are taking 16 credits and have to study, but realistically if you stopped playing modern warfare, got off pinterest and facebook, and spent less time impressing the opposite sex you would have enough time to do anything. Don’t lie to yourself; your life is just as lamely awesome as mine.
Start a business in college because you don’t have to leave another job in order to do it; instead, you can just work on your business on the side while still in school. That will give you time to figure out whether it is really a viable career option by the time you graduate.
Although college courses are important for student training, starting and running a business can teach skills you won’t get sitting in a lecture hall and performing a great rendition of the sleep nod. (you know how I feel about school from this post)